This morning, Bus 143 was stoned near Pisgat Ze’ev, in Jerusalem at 7:45 AM, October 22. The 143 bus line runs from Kochav Yaakov to the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. There were no injuries, though the bus was damaged.
Later in the afternoon, five Palestinian teenagers were arrested for throwing rocks at passing local vehicles in the same area.
Yesterday, October 21, another bus was attacked by Palestinians throwing rocks. The bus driver was lightly injured and taken to Hadassah-Ein Kerem Hospital for treatment.
In addition, homes in Shiloach (Silwan) and Bet-El were attacked with firebombs yesterday. In Shiloach, the home that was attacked had been recently purchased, and the residents escaped injury. Border Police dispersed the attackers. In Bet-El, the firebombs set one part of the home on fire, though the residents there escaped injury as well. The attackers fled before they could be apprehended, and left a Palestinian flag behind.
The light rail system has been under rock-throwing attacks for a long time with the national government and the Mayor’s office in Jerusalem announcing a “zero-tolerance” policy. The Jerusalem police have begun using drones for surveillance to arrest those who throw stones and firebombs at the train. Until now, rock and firebomb attacks have damaged 40% of the trains in Jerusalem – limiting the amount of trains available to serve passengers, and causing damage worth about 500,000 NIS.
Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat earlier in the week to discuss the safety situation in Jerusalem, and Netanyahu angrily demanded that security services take care of the situation. Barkat spoke of the need for the police to be more proactive in stopping crime and terror attacks, and requested the Jerusalem police force be enlarged. He specified that in the neighborhoods of Armon Hanatziv, Har Homa, Gilo, Issawiya, Shuafat, Silwan, and Har HaZeitim (the Mount of Olives) the situation is unacceptable.
Aryeh King, a councilman in Jerusalem, told Tazpit News Agency that “as a council member, it is sad to see that the Mayor of Jerusalem took too much time to understand that security, as his priority, has to come first, before festivals, sports, or anything else.”